Vote, volunteer and be LGBT visible – TB

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Every election year feels crucial, but 2012 feels like a critical mass for LGBT voters. With the Republican Party speaking of taking civil and women’s rights away, it’s important that we all do our part, however small, to get the vote out. The time has come to start knocking on doors, calling voters and being a visible participant if you want to preserve our fundamental rights as Americans. Feel like you want to help, but not sure how? The Democratic Committee Headquarters in Cherry Hill is a good place to start.

At the Camden County Democratic Committee headquarters, there are many ways you can help. You can volunteer to phone-bank, attend an event, help with canvassing, talk with friends, write letters to the editor, give rides on Election Day, help to steer people in the right direction to get registered (in order to vote, people must be registered 21 days prior to voting) and educate people on their rights as a voter. For instance, some voters don’t know that they can vote by mail.

“In New Jersey, Governor Christie has a record of hostility to women’s rights and women’s needs,” says State Senator Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat and staunch supporter of the rights of women and LGBT people. “Women in New Jersey and around the country should be alarmed by the Republican record and agenda on women’s issues. Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate increases the threat to progress for women.”

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has also been an ally to the LGBT community. He supports marriage equality and granting federal benefits to people in same-sex marriages. He fought to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and urges New Jerseyans to support marriage equality at the state level. Think Positive has identified him as one of the most pro-LGBT senators in Washington.

At the other end of the spectrum is Mitt Romney’s pick for Vice President, Paul Ryan. Ryan is a co-sponsor of the Personhood Amendment, an extreme anti-abortion measure that says a fertilized egg should have all the same legal and constitutional attributes and privileges as a person. If something happens to an embryo, criminal charges could be brought against the couple involved if this amendment becomes law. Personhood would outlaw abortions, even in the cases of incest, rape and threats to a woman’s health. Ryan would outlaw abortion, some forms of contraception, and in-vitro fertilization.

Sen. Menendez said, “The clear choice before voters on Election Day is whether we, as a state and as a nation, will move forward or backward. That applies to our economy and creating jobs. It applies to our progress in health care reform. And it certainly applies to the progress we’ve made on issues concerning LGBT equality, including marriage equality as a top priority in the Democrats’ national platform.”

Menendez stressed the significant steps forward for the LGBT community during the Obama years and says the work is far from finished. “That is why it is so critical that people who care about the direction in which our country is heading talk to their friends, their families, and the people in their communities about how much their vote matters this year,” he said. “One of our messages must be that to be complacent and miss the chance to cast a ballot in the November elections is to put at risk all of the progress we have made in the fight for LGBT equality in our society. We simply do not want to see our successes reversed by allowing Republicans to be elected who would have government tell us whom we can love and marry.”

These are some of the issues that we are up against this election year. That is why it is important for all of us to do the right thing, vote, volunteer and be LGBT visible.

Visit the Camden County Democratic Committee at 2240-15 Route 70 West, Garden State Pavilions Shopping Center, (next to the Shop-Rite and in front of the NJ Transit Cherry Hill rail station), Cherry Hill, NJ 08002, or call (856) 424-5757. Visit the website at www.camdencountydems.com/.

In the rest of New Jersey, contact your state committee at: New Jersey Democratic State Committee, 194-196 West State St., Trenton, NJ 08608 Call them at (609) 392-3367 or visit them on the web at www.njdems.org/.

If you need to register to vote, visit: www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voting-information-voter-registration-forms.html.  

 

 

 

 

Every election year feels crucial, but 2012 feels like a critical mass for LGBT voters. With the Republican Party speaking of taking civil and women’s rights away, it’s important that we all do our part, however small, to get the vote out. The time has come to start knocking on doors, calling voters and being a visible participant if you want to preserve our fundamental rights as Americans. Feel like you want to help, but not sure how? The Democratic Committee Headquarters in Cherry Hill is a good place to start.